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Craig becomes FDQ’s first apprentice to achieve L2 AND Advanced Butcher Apprenticeship

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Congratulations to Craig Henderson who has become the butchery sector’s first apprentice to pass his L2 AND L3 Advanced Butcher end-point assessments – BOTH at the highest grade possible.

Craig, who is now a Shop Manager for Walter Smith Fine Foods, began his butchery career six years ago. This was a complete career change for Craig, now 32, who’d previously worked in pet retailing and as a Head Falconer for the National Birds of Prey Centre.

For Craig it was the skill and craftsmanship of butchery are what attracted him to the profession. Having spent much of his life shooting and hunting also helped him appreciate the skill involved in preparing meat and game. He says,

“I’m actually one of those people that loves my job completely. I enjoy carcass butchery just as much as I do the fancy craft of a fine foods display counter. One of my favourite things to do is complete pork butchery right down to making the value added products like sausage and developing new flavours.”

With such excellent results in both butchery end-point assessments what does Craig feel helped him succeed? As well as support from his employer and sound preparation from Christopher Riley at Crosby Butchery Training, Craig explains the important role his Independent Butchery Examiner played on the day of his EPA,

“My assessor really helped me to feel calm and relaxed about the EPA, he talked me through everything that was going to happen before we began the assessment. He also explained to me that if I failed any section of the end-point assessment I could retake that piece rather than the whole thing which helped me be at ease.”

Craig cites ‘being relaxed’ as his most important advice for apprentices facing their end-point assessment. His other top tips for EPA success are:

  • Listen to your mentor or trainer

  • Be confident in yourself

  • Do plenty of revision

Looking forward, Craig has no intention of standing still. He has his sights set on completing his Level 4 Food Hygiene and eventually becoming a Master Butcher. We wish him every success.



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